This day in history — April 24, 1877 — Federal Troops Withdraw from Louisiana, Marking the End of Reconstruction

On April 24, 1877, President Rutherford B. Hayes withdrew federal troops from Louisiana, the last federally-occupied former Confederate state. The withdrawal marked the end of Reconstruction and paved the way for the unrestrained resurgence of white Democratic rule in the South, carrying with it the rapid deterioration of political rights for Southern blacks.

In the years leading up to 1877, public support for federal intervention in the South waned. By the presidential election of 1876, federal troops had withdrawn from all but three Southern states, Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina. These three states became the battlegrounds in a highly contested election between Mr. Hayes, the Republican candidate, and Democratic candidate Samuel Tilden. Mr. Tilden appeared to have won the popular vote, but the Republican Party disputed the electoral college results from the remaining occupied Southern states.

In January 1877, an electoral commission was created to resolve the election controversy. The bipartisan commission voted to award the popular vote and the electoral college votes of the contested states to Mr. Hayes, giving him a narrow victory over Mr. Tilden. President Hayes garnered Democratic support for the commission’s decision by pledging to end Reconstruction and withdraw the last of the 3000 federal troops from Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina.

From the Equal Justice Initiative’s A History of Racial Injustice – 2018 Calendar.

“The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) is proud to present A History of Racial Injustice – 2018 Calendar.  America’s history of racial inequality continues to undermine fair treatment, equal justice, and opportunity for many Americans.  The genocide of Native people, the legacy of slavery and racial terror, and the legally supported abuse of racial minorities are not well understood.  EJI believes that a deeper engagement with our nation’s history of racial injustice is important to addressing present-day questions of social justice and equality.


About William Eric Waters, aka Easy Waters

Award-winning poet, playwright and writer. Author of three books of poetry, "Black Shadows and Through the White Looking Glass: Remembrance of Things Past and Present"; "Sometimes Blue Knights Wear Black Hats"; "The Black Feminine Mystique," and a novel, "Streets of Rage." All four books are available on
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